Are You Ready for the Revolutionary New Kitchen of Tomorrow?

What does the kitchen mean to you and your family, specifically? It seems that it has a very different meaning according to your lifestyle, family size and income, and as such its very definition may be changing in front of us. What should you expect from the kitchen of tomorrow in terms of its place within your own lifestyle, and what innovations are exciting?

Entering the Showroom

A working kitchen used to be just that – an area where the serious business of creating sustenance for the family took place. It was full of utilitarian equipment and the centre focus was always on the food preparation. Now, in many respects the modern kitchen is more of a showroom and has become a meeting place for the family where everybody can gather, interact with their mobile devices and even watch television. Many households with higher incomes eat out on a very regular basis and use the kitchen only as a place where they can relax at breakfast time or over a snack. To these households the design and appearance of the kitchen is very different as space is allocated more to fulfill its lifestyle role than anything else.

Where’s the Line?

This approach to the use of the kitchen may be part of a wider trend, where the kitchen is essentially an integral part of the larger and more informal living space. Fashion-first families are choosing to build kitchens that are made from the finest materials and hottest designer finishes in the same way as they treat the selection of furniture and fittings for the living room. The living space and the integrated kitchen must work together as one, as a seamless segue between the living and eating areas.

Exotic Designers

Don’t be surprised if you see some famous designers that are more associated with exotic lifestyles than the kitchen industry in the near future. These designers are being introduced to develop high-tech gadgets with a streamlined appearance, so that they fit into the new vision of the kitchen. Your kitchen utilities and gadgets may appear to be more suited to a Ferrari showroom than the place where you prepare and deliver your family’s meals.

Your Turn Next

What seems certain is that the kitchen of tomorrow is going to be one of the most exciting and dynamic rooms in your home. It’s going to be very much a central hub of activity and will be the most important room in the building when it comes to design, efficiency, functionality and flair. What vision do you have for your kitchen of tomorrow?

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Buying Shutters? Here Are Different Ways To Customize Yours

If you are planning to buy window shutter, you’re already well on your way to making your home look great. Shutters are an excellent window dressing option with a rich heritage to support their status. However, don’t just buy any shutters you come by, customise yours and let your windows/house stand out even more. Below, find ideas on just how to do that.


What colour will your shutters be? Unlike curtains or blinds that can be removed and changed at any moment, shutters are permanent so you need to evaluate this option keenly. The most common colour for shutters is white because it’s a neutral base colour. Wood shades are also popular as well, ranging from light to dark shades. And if you want to make your windows really stand out, try other different colours such as black, green, red, etc. However, pay attention to the fact that your shutters should match with other aspects of your décor, e.g. flooring, ceiling, furniture, etc.


Dividers are a big feature in shutters. They allow you to open or fold sections of your shutters while keeping others closed. They are often used to open upper sections to allow light and air while keeping the lower ones closed for privacy reasons. So if you want to enjoy the same benefits, have your shutters manufactured with dividers as well. Your units can be divided into two or more sections. The ideal number should be guided by how long your windows are. Have each section measure at least a foot long.

Fixed or movable?

Shutters can be fixed or movable. Fixed shutters cannot be adjusted to open or close the slats. They can only be retained in place or folded to the sides of the window. With movable units, on the other hand, the slats can be adjusted to control air, light or privacy. It goes without saying that movable slats offer more options. You can choose to have the complete shutters built this way or you can just have the lower sections built in a fixed design.

Slat width

The slats on your shutters are not a critical factor but are still a customisable feature. It all boils down to the look you want to achieve on your windows. Plantation shutters, for example, have wider slats that allow stronger air currents and open the windows wider to let in more light. You can also go for thinner slats that are more restrictive and offer more privacy.

Once you have your options picked out, talk to your manufacturer and make your custom order. Once ready, you’ll be proud of not just having shutters in your home but having custom shutters that fit your window dressing needs in every way.

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Mow Mow Mow You Don’t! Two Tips To Bring Your Ride On Mower Back To Life After Winter Storage

Not a lot of lawn mowing goes on during the dormant months of winter, but now that Spring is around the corner and the grass is starting to grow again, it is time to pull your ride on mower out of storage and fire it up ready for the busy mowing months again. But, what do you do if you hit the starter button and nothing happens? Try these two tips to bring your ride on mower back to life before you seek professional assistance.

Check The Fuel Tank

Obviously, the lawn mower is not going to start if the fuel tank is empty. But, did you know that leaving fuel in the tank over winter is just as big a problem? Fuel that is left unused in a tank for several months will thicken and can cause gum deposits to form around the spark plugs.

The first thing you need to do is drain the old fuel out of the tank. The fastest way to do this is open up the fuel cap and place in a long piece of garden hose. Suck on the hose gently until you feel the fuel moving up and then place the end of the hose into a bucket. If you are not confident about syphoning out the fuel this way, take your ride on mower to a repair specialist so they can drain the fuel for you.

Once the fuel is emptied, check to see if there is gunge around the spark plugs. If there is, remove the spark plugs to give them a wipe clean before you reinsert them. Next, add a quarter-tank of fresh fuel before trying to restart. If nothing happens after several tries, you will need to take your ride-on in for repair as the fuel lines by be blocked by thick fuel.

Spark Plug Leads

Another reason why your lawn mower may not be starting is because the spark plug leads have perished over the winter. A spark plug lead takes the spark from the spark plug and then sends it down so that it can ignite the fuel and start the engine. If any of the metal within the spark plug lead has corroded with rust over the winter, then it cannot carry the current.

You can buy a spark plug lead tester at your local hardware store. This device will test the amount of current moving through the lead when it is attached to a spark plug. However, you may also find it easier to take the mower leads to a ride-on mower repairer for testing if you do not have much experience with currency tests.

Taking your ride on mower to a lawn mower specialist will get it up and running in no time. The faster you get it restarted, the less chance your lawns will have to grow out of control.

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Four Completely Natural, Totally Chemical-Free Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy, Beautiful Lawn

Maintaining a healthy lawn doesn’t have to involve lots of chemicals or fertilisers. Want to have a happy, healthy lawn using the most natural techniques possible? Then, check out these types:

1. Choose a type of grass suited to your climate and soil type.

There’s not just a single type of lawn grass. Rather, there are multiple varieties, and the types that grow the best in your area may be different than the types that grow the best in other areas. Throughout Australia, buffalo grass, zoysia and Queensland blue couch have long been popular varieties. They all tend to stand up well to heat and humidity, and most have limited watering requirements. If you are putting in a new lawn, talk with a specialist to see which type they recommend for your exact location and budget.

2. Support your lawn with compost.

Compost is completely natural, and best of all, you can make it yourself, so it’s absolutely free. Start a compost bucket in the kitchen and fill it with fruit and veg scraps. When the bucket is full, move it to a covered container outside, and slop the scraps in. As the scraps break down, they turn into a nutrient-rich compost that will benefit any type of grass or soil. If your soil is sandy, the compost will help build humus to retain moisture, but if your soil has too much clay, the compost will make it lighter and easier for the grass roots to penetrate.

To apply your compost, aerate your lawn. Plop the compost down in scoopfuls all over your yard. Then, rake the compost into the grass. Most of it will penetrate the lawn through the aeration holes.

3. Try boiling water for weed control.

Surprisingly, it is possible to kill weeds in the grass using just water. Boiling water when poured over weeds has been effectively proven to eliminate them. One gardener pitted boiling water against a salty vinegar solution, and he found the water more effective. Water is about as natural a it gets.

4. Attract birds for pest control.

If you’ve got an infestation of armyworms or similar critters in your garden and you don’t want to reach for chemical-laden pesticides, turn to the circle of life. Attract birds who love to snack on worms into your garden by planting things they like to eat.

For example, if you want to attract birds who eat insects, you need to plant things that thornbills, wrens, magpies, honeyeaters, robins and several other birds like to eat. This list includes eucalyptus, banksia spinulosa or the hairpin banksia, grevillea juniperina or juniper, eriostemon myoporoides or the long-leaf wax flower as well as several other types of plants

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Why Air Conditioning Is Essential for Your Home Recording Studio

There’s lots to consider when setting up a home recording studio–equipment, layout, soundproofing and more–so it can be easy to overlook air conditioning. Whether you’re a budding singer-songwriter, or a full time musician, choosing the right air conditioning solution for your home studio will have a huge positive effect on your creative output, maintenance of your equipment, and recorded sound quality. Following these tips will help to you create a cool, calm, quiet studio that’s ready to record masterpieces.

Prevent equipment damage

Recording equipment can produce a lot of heat, and if you’re already located in a warm climate then a room can very quickly become hot. High temperatures can damage electrical equipment, causing it to run more slowly or break. Save yourself a fortune on replacing expensive electronics by managing the temperature carefully. A high quality air conditioning unit located in the same room as your equipment will be a lifesaver.

Instruments like guitars can also suffer in conditions that are too hot or humid. Heat can cause the wood to warp or crack, affecting the shape of the neck and body and producing an inferior quality sound. Too much humidity can lead to swelling at the top of the body, changing the tone of the instrument. Choosing an air conditioning unit which allows you to regulate the temperature and humidity of the room will keep everything working in optimum condition.

Cool spaces quietly

A loud machine like a fan will ruin your recordings with its constant whirring noise. By choosing an air conditioning unit instead, you will be able to maintain the quiet needed for quality sound recording.  Silent air conditioning systems are very effective, but can be expensive. Try to consider your needs. If you’ll be using the studio for recording very regularly, then a silent air conditioner will be a worthwhile investment.

If you record only occasionally as a hobby, then purchasing a more cost effective, but louder unit that can be switched off during recording should be adequate. You may also choose to keep your air conditioning unit in the equipment room, separate from the recording area of the studio.

Increase artist comfort

Whether you’re in the recording chair, or behind the mixing desk, overheating is no fun. Being too warm can prevent you from concentrating and damage the quality of your work. It’s unhealthy to spend long periods of time in rooms which are too hot, but taking regular breaks can disrupt your creative flow. A well-placed air conditioning unit solves all of these problems, leaving you free to express your musical talents without any discomfort or disruptions.

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4 Intelligent Blind Materials For Hot And Humid Kitchens

Your kitchen is the hardest working room in your home because of the amount of heat and humidity drawn through the process of cooking. All materials used in the kitchen need to be able to withstand this heat and humidity for long periods, including your window treatments. Irrespective of your kitchen style, here are some intelligent materials for window blinds in hot and humid kitchens.

Faux Wood

Faux wood is perhaps the most intelligent material choice for kitchen window blinds because they simulate the elegance of real wood, but are far easier to maintain and much more economical in price. Faux wood blinds are a mixture of synthetic plastic like PVC and composite wood. With this synthetic mixture, faux wood blinds are able to withstand heat and moisture without warping, fading or any other damage –– making them excellent applications for your kitchen windows.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Blinds

Made from high-grade plastic, PVC blinds are incredibly popular in hot and humid kitchens because they are resistant to extreme moisture, humidity and temperature fluctuations. They remain strong and durable despite the harsh surrounding environment, so you won’t have to worry about warping or splitting. PVC blinds are simple to clean, requiring only soap water and a cloth for wiping. Stains and moisture can typically be wiped off without any trouble, making them highly durable choices for your kitchens. These types of blinds come in a multitude of colours and styles, so you can choose something that tides in best with your existing kitchen décor.

Aluminium Blinds

Unlike steel and other types of metal, aluminium is resistant to rust and corrosion, making this material an excellent choice for your kitchen window blinds. Aluminium blinds are sturdy and durable, while providing excellent light and heat control. Apart from being long lasting and stain resistant, aluminium blinds are fairly economical. If you’re looking for a maintenance free solution for your kitchen windows, aluminium blinds make excellent choices.

Vinyl Blinds

Vinyl blinds are ideal materials for kitchens because of their low maintenance properties. The material can easily be wiped clean with soap water and a cloth, so stains are unlikely to remain on them, unlike other materials. The synthetic material makes them impervious to extreme heat generated while cooking in your kitchen. With a myriad of patterns and shades available, you can choose vertical or horizontal vinyl blinds based on your specific taste. 

Kitchen window blinds need special care because of the extreme levels of heat and humidity in the space. Consider these intelligent blind materials to give your kitchen a flourishing finish.

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Simple Tips On Removing Creases From New Curtains

When you buy lovely, new ready-made curtains, it can be very annoying to find them full of creases when you unpack them.  Fortunately, removing creases and wrinkles from new curtains is pretty easy when you know how!  Read on for a quick guide.

What you’ll need

  • steam iron
  • a willing helper
  • de-wrinkling spray (available from good haberdashery shops)

How to do it

It’s important that both you and your helper wear long sleeves for this job to protect you from the hot steam and drops of very hot water that you might be exposed to during the process.

  1. First of all, hang your new curtains on the curtain rail, space the fabric evenly along the rail and draw the curtains closed.  
  2. Make sure that the steam iron is full of water, switch it on, and set it to its maximum temperature.  
  3. Give the curtains a generous spray all over with the de-wrinkling spray.  If you can’t get hold of any de-wrinkler, you can substitute it with clean, warm water dispensed from a plant sprayer.  
  4. Ask your assistant to hold the bottom of the curtains at the hem and pull them taut as you work.  Begin at the top of the curtain and hold the iron vertically, close to the fabric but not touching it.  Press the steam button on the iron so that the curtain is enveloped in a cloud of steam.  The moisture in the steam causes the fabric fibres to ‘relax’, thus removing the creases and crinkles.  
  5. Move the iron down to the bottom of each curtain panel, moving up and down along the curtains methodically, until all the fabric has been covered.  You’ll probably have to repeat the process several times before all the creases start to drop out.  
  6. You now need to leave the curtains for a few hours to dry completely.  Don’t be tempted to open the curtains while they are still damp, as the fabric may crease up again as it dries.

Fabrics such as cotton or very heavy damask can take several days to de-wrinkle completely after treatment.  Don’t panic!  All you need to do is to leave the curtains drawn closed and allow gravity to pull any remaining wrinkles and creases out.

You can quickly and simply remove creases and wrinkles from new curtains by following the guidelines given above.  In the unlikely event that the curtains stubbornly remain creased, contact the supplier for more advice on how to rectify the problem.

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